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Professor Tran T Hien

Professor Tran T Hien

Podcast interview

Infectious diseases in the tropics

Although incidence of malaria has decreased in Vietnam, the burden of infectious diseases remains high and weighs heavily on the health care system. Clinical research aims to allow investments to go further: findings in the laboratory, tested in clinical trials and then applied to the community, help improve diagnosis and management.

View podcast transcript

Tran Hien

Visiting Professor in Tropical Medicine

Tropical Medicine

Project “Research on Infectious diseases of public health importance in Vietnam” is a scientific research collaboration between the Hospital for Tropical Diseases of Ho Chi Minh City and Oxford University Clinical Research Unit in Vietnam (OUCRU-VN); sponsored by the Centre for Tropical Medicine, Oxford University, England. This project is the extension of a long-term collaboration on research on infectious diseases between the Oxford University and the Hospital for Tropical Diseases since 1991.

Infectious diseases always create a burden for low - and medium - income countries. Identified and unidentified as well as emerging infectious diseases are threats for global health that the international community should collaborate on in order to deal with effectively. This project is aimed at reducing the burden of infectious diseases locally and globally through a common approach that integrates clinical and epidemiological research with allied laboratory studies in a stimulating training environment.

The project will include scientific activities to investigate infectious diseases of public health importance to establish more efficient measures to control them.

Main objectives are

  • Quantify the burden of infectious disease, and particularly the contribution of bacterial, parasitic, fungal, viral, zoonotic and emerging diseases to that burden, in patients hospitalized with infectious disease syndromes, and a cohort of individuals exposed to high risk of infectious diseases
  • Clinical research aimed at improving the treatment of infectious diseases.
  • Elucidate the origin, nature, and burden of infectious diseases of unknown origin in the human study populations and provide a framework and repository of putative pathogens for further work.
  • Characterize genetic diversity within causal micro-organism populations on either side of the species-barrier in order to understand the process of transmission and disease emergence.
  • Identify socio-demographic, environmental and behavioral risk factors for disease occurrence and emergence.
  • Create a platform and resource for further research in future

There will be 7 main research focus topics: Malaria, Dengue Fever, Central nervous (CNS) infections (meningitis, encephalitis, TB, Fungal, and parasitic) Influenza and Respiratory infections, Enteric infections (typhoid fever, shigellosis, Viral), Tuberculosis, Zoonosis and Emerging Infections

Training & Teaching: full support for PhD and MSc training aboard (UK or other countries); support for undergraduate and postgraduate students who follow training programmes in Vietnam and internationally.

The Oxford University Clinical Research Unit in Vietnam (OUCRU-VN) staff and doctors scientist from collaborative institutions will implement the project by conducting study protocols related to topics mentioned in the project documents and approved technically and monetary, by both sides and by consolidating, upgrading facilities, equipments necessary for research activities of the project.